CD Review : Radiation City : The Hands that Take You

Seriously. No s..t. Truly. I’m listening to The Hands that Take You, which has been sitting within hearing distance for at least several weeks. And the words that come out of my mouth keep being: “This is so good!” In between exclaiming, “This is so good!” I try to define why it’s so good, since people tend to want to know that sort of thing when you keep shaking them and going on about something. The best I can do is, “I’ve never heard anyone so creatively mesh ‘50s/’60s pop balladry (and the pop harmonies that preceded them, from artists including the Boswell Sisters) with a touch of the subtle eeriness of Angelo Badalamenti, a fanatical love of the moodily atmospheric, and a free-form sense of fun.”

Of course, when music is this good, having to analyze it can be annoying. I just tend to add it to my list of favorite things; and my list of examplars of the ability to not only endure, but arrive at brilliance. Also, I really like how much Radiation City initiators Cameron Spies and Lizzy Ellison, who live in Portland,Oregon, love melody. The emergence of Radiation City could be inspiring – or fairly frightening – for a host of electronic-, retro-, garage-, chamber-, and just plain “dream-pop” manufacturers. ‘Cause it’s just raised the bar a lot higher.

–Post by Mary Leary

  • Eve Ryman

    October 12, 2011 [ 3:13 pm ]

    I could not agree more. And the best part? It gets better with each listen. I want MORE!

  • Linda 2ME

    October 12, 2011 [ 8:46 pm ]

    Why keep comparing to other artists? This group is unique and wonderful. Let’s just give them their own sound.

  • Mary Leary

    October 13, 2011 [ 1:40 am ]

    Description (or the attempt to describe) doesn’t = comparison. I do feel RC has raised the bar. Doesn’t mean others can’t, or aren’t doing so simultaneously… in other words, no black & white thinking was intended or implied in any of my words. And RC certainly has “its own sound.” But basically I’m arguing with an argument that makes no sense as an argument, so – bye!

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